I love summer dinners at home– sitting down to a long leisurely meal with friends (when its still light out) feels so luxurious. The creeping light change every week reminds us that it won’t last, but it makes me hopeful we can try to eat more dinners at an earlier hour in the coming darker months, to try to hold to that summer feeling. After a full July of takeout, meals out, picnics and travel, meals at home this week have felt very comforting and restorative. We recently tried out Turntable Kitchen’s summery corn and peach salad, paired with some seared salmon from Siren and Becky’s green plum tarts with honey and black pepper.
Two: Barley risotto. We’re hooked after trying Bon Appetit’s recipe from the April issue. We started with the spinach and herb combination, and now have moved on to other variations– this week’s included freshly shelled fava beans and peas, with an arugula pesto mixed in at the end. We reheated leftovers the next day, and served it with a poached egg for a very, very late breakfast. The recipe seems like a lot of work, (but risotto is always a lot of work) but this is completely worth every extra step. The toasted barley has a really wonderful texture and flavor, but also very creamy like regular risotto.
We’re 6 days away from the Skill Exchange grilling workshop(s) on Saturday, with only a few tickets left. Last night, after a full day of pretending it was Friday, I got into bed and my brain went into list-making-worrying-not-sleeping mode. Paired with 4 abnormally wild hellion cats that staged an all out attack on human sleep last night, I’m feeling tired and also pretty wired today. Also, very excited.
We’ve been on an oyster kick lately– though its not so decadent as it sounds. More accurate: we’ve been on a oyster sharing and snacking kick, with friends! Last week we received Point Reyes oysters from Siren Fish Co. and decided to try them on the bbq with a simple mignonette. This weekend I went to the Alemany farmers market and bought a mixed bag of oysters, again from Point Reyes. This time we shucked them in the backyard while snacking and drinking with friends, while grilling some black cod, again from Siren. It can be hard to convince Intern of the occasional merits of our windy backyard, so I had to lure him out there this weekend with oysters, rosé and friends. He did not enjoy the wind + smoky grill, but he liked all the other parts.
Our weather is ping ponging back and forth from popsicle weather to soup weather, though we’re finally leaning more towards warm weather food, like strawberries and fava beans, grilled fish and of course, boozy popsicles. In my excitement for the heat wave last week, I made popsicles, pulled out a few summer dresses from the depths of the closet and put away some scarves and hats, just in time to put on a sweater and grill in the crazy wind.
A few weeks ago I played with our food, shooting some food scenes for the upcoming Skill Exchange workshops on May 17th. Purely for the sake of fancy-ing up the poster, I grilled some lemons. Since then, I’ve been grilling lemons whenever a recipe calls for regular lemon, I just can’t help it, THE FLAVOR!
We’re on a weeks-long soup kick– the fridge-clearing, one big pot kind of soup. Its not all soup, all the time over here, but we’ve been eating a lot of soup. I thought I wasn’t a soup-person (aside from the soup my mother makes) but I’ve been gravitating towards soup-making and soup-eating for weeks, with no signs of tiring. Actually, a certain Intern of mine has expressed some minestrone-exhaustion on his side of the table. Onwards, to new, different soups I guess. My soup inspiration frequently and without fail comes from Rachel, I could even possibly claim that her blog and recipes are the reason I’ve become so soup-supportive.
After a months-long break from our favorite CSA, and in fairness, a long break from regular weeknight cooking and meal-planning, we’re getting back into the habit. We’re back on the vegetable CSA wagon, and the cooking-to-relax program. Sort of. Mostly, but we’re trying. Even if it appears as though we’ve been slaving away in the kitchen on the regular, takeout sushi and simple meals have become our usual fare during busy work periods. The last few weeks have been work-y and busy as usual, but we’re trying out new recipes and revisiting recipes we’ve forgotten about. Getting back to cooking to get back to a calmer, more restful pattern. Thats the idea anyway.